12.90 – NMSU Real Estate

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 12 | Physical Asset Management

Responsible Executive: Vice President Administration and Finance

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 05/10/2013



Revision History:

09/01/2023 Title change from "Chancellor" to "President" 
2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 9.20
05/10/2013 Amendment approved by Board of Regents
03/12/2012 Amendment approved by Board of Regents
12/09/2011 Amendment approved by Board of Regents
08/22/2011 Amendment approved by Board of Regents
07/15/2008 Adoption of amendment ratified by Board of Regents
05/09/2008 Amendment approved by Administrative Council
09/08/2006 Adoption of amendment approved by Board of Regents
06/13/2006 Amendment approved by Administrative Council

For the purposes of this rule, “NMSU real estate” is defined as all land owned or leased by NMSU. For purposes of this rule, a real estate “transaction”, means any easement, lease, right-of-way, memorandum of understanding, letter agreement, use agreement, license agreement or other agreement that may increase NMSU’s risk of liability or affect the use of, or interest in, NMSU real estate.


  1. Titleholder: Legal title to all NMSU real estate (land, buildings, air rights, water rights and mineral rights) is vested in the Board of Regents, without regard to the academic or administrative entity that occupies or otherwise uses the real estate.
  2. Authority to Convey Property: The title to all property belonging to the university is vested in the Board of Regents as a corporate body. NMSA 1978, § 21-3-4. Pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 21-1- 20, the Board of Regents is authorized to buy, sell, lease, or mortgage realty and take such other action, in the best interests of the university.
  3. Retention of Authority: The Board of Regents specifically reserves the authority to review and take action with regard to all transactions permanently affecting NMSU real estate, including all sales and acquisitions and encumbrances. The board delegate’s authority and responsibility to the President or designee to review, approve and execute the following types of real estate transactions:
    1. Real estate transactions involving a term of less than ten (10) years, including any options to extend; and
    2. Real estate transactions not to exceed a total university cost liability (excluding operating expenses) of $100,000 per year; and
    3. Real estate easements which grant a specific, limited use of real property for a term not to exceed ten (10) years. Such uses shall include agreements relating to access, utilities installations, data/telecommunications facilities, rights of way, ingress, egress, sanitary sewers, pipelines and drainage.



  1. Collaboration between NMSU Offices: The Office of Real Estate shall serve as coordinator for the academic and administrative units for all real estate transactions. Contacts from non-university entities regarding real estate shall be directed to the Office of Real Estate.
    1. Each proposed real estate transaction of any type or nature shall be initiated by consultation with the director of the Office of Real Estate. Such consultation shall occur as early as possible in the planning process, in order to maximize the university’s bargaining position, and in order for the Office of Real Estate to better provide the academic or administrative unit with guidance regarding the nature of the transaction and estimated time and cost needed for completion.
    2. After the initial consultation with the Office of Real Estate, the academic and administrative units may make general inquiries and conduct general discussions with third parties; however, all official negotiations with property owners, developers, landlords, realtors, brokers and other third parties shall be conducted on behalf of the university by the Office of Real Estate.
  2. Philosophy: NMSU is expected to preserve, enhance and maximize the productivity of its real estate assets. It is the policy of the university to preserve adequate land area for all foreseeable academic and support needs and to utilize to the best possible advantage to the university all land areas surplus to the academic and support needs.
  3. Purpose: NMSU real estate, consisting of land, buildings, air rights, water rights and mineral rights, shall be acquired, used or disposed of consistent with the university’s mission, strategic master planning efforts, and within approved budgets.
    1. NMSU property shall not be made available for individual use or gain.
    2. Acquisitions and gifts of interests in real estate shall not create excess risk of liability or financial exposure, shall support the university’s mission, and are subject to acceptance by the Board of Regents.
    3. NMSU real estate may only be sold or otherwise disposed of after determination by the affected department, the cognizant dean or vice president that it is in the best interest of the university, recommendation from the Regents’ Real Estate Committee, if any, and approval from the Board of Regents, as well as compliance with other state requirements.
  4. Oversight of Physical Property: Academic and administrative units are responsible for ensuring that the real estate and/or space occupied by, or assigned to, them is being used in accordance with university policy, rules and procedures.
  5. Minimization of Risk of Liability: The risk of loss to the university shall be minimized with each real estate transaction. Each real estate transaction shall therefore be conducted in accordance with procedures established by the Office of Real Estate, and consistent with finance, purchasing, and other state law requirements.
  6. Deposit and Use of Proceeds: Proceeds derived from the sale, lease or consideration for NMSU real estate interests are restricted and will be used for nonrecurring capital outlay items which are typically not funded from traditional sources. Specific proposals will be presented to the Board of Regents for approval before any commitments are made against these funds.
  7. Effect on Title: Easements, leases, rights-of-way and other real estate transactions that may encumber NMSU’s real estate shall:
    1. Be limited to the specific purpose requested; and
    2. Be limited to the minimum amount of land necessary for the proposed operation; and
    3. Be limited to the shortest term that will accommodate the proposed operation; and
    4. Be based upon fair market value or appraisal comparables to ensure that the university receives adequate consideration, if applicable.
  8. Periodic Needs Assessments: Facilities and Services, the Office of Space Management, and the Office of Real Estate shall coordinate to conduct periodic reviews of real estate with the college and library deans, vice presidents, vice and associate provosts and directors to ensure their real estate needs are being met, and to identify any changes that may need to be made.



  1. The University’s Representative for Real Estate Transactions: NMSU entities shall collaborate-rate regarding, and the Office of Real Estate shall oversee real estate transactions on behalf of the university. Such transactions include, but are not limited to:
    1. Leases of real estate (regardless of ownership),
    2. Acquisition and disposal of real estate or interests therein,
    3. Enhancement and development of NMSU real estate,
    4. Easements (regardless of ownership),
    5. Rights-of-Way (regardless of ownership),
    6. Memorandums of Understanding (relating to real estate),
    7. Temporary Use Agreements, and
    8. Access Agreements.
  2. Coordination with Other University Departments: The Office of Real Estate shall ensure that each real estate transaction is reviewed by the affected department or administrative unit, and the cognizant dean or vice president; the Office of Administration and Finance, including the Procurement Services Office and Facilities and Services; and the Office of the University General Counsel prior to presenting for review to the President or designee and approval by the Board of Regents. The Office of Real Estate may develop and require routing forms and checklists for this purpose.
  3. Lead Negotiator and Preparer of Documents: Consistent with the legal opinion of the Office of the University General Counsel, and in coordination with the head of the affected academic or administrative unit, the director of the Office of Real Estate shall negotiate and prepare all real estate transactions for approval and signature by the Board of Regents.
  4. Repository of Original Documents: The Office of Real Estate shall be responsible for the proper retention and safe storage of original real estate documents.